Acclaimed as a violinist of “compelling presence, fearless attack, and technical aplomb and bravado” (New London’s The Day), Chelsea Starbuck Smith, 26, is a young artist becoming recognized for her infectious enthusiasm for the violin. She has performed as solo and chamber artist in venues across the United States and abroad, including David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Citi Field, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Palais de Fontainebleau in France, and Centre National des Arts in Ottawa.
Chelsea recently made solo appearances with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Charleston, SC, and the Southern Finger Lakes Orchestra in Corning, NY. Her solo debut in 2013 with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto was called a “show-stopper,” and she was described by music critic Milton Moore as “dominating the stage and electrifying her audience with her high-powered and knowing performance.”
As a chamber and orchestral musician, Chelsea is at home with both classical and crossover styles. Recent collaborators include Debbie Harry & Blondie, and The Knights Chamber Orchestra. Chelsea was a section-member of the 2017 Radio City Christmas Spectacular orchestra pit as well as concertmaster for Broadway’s in-concert crossover experience, Rocktopia in 2018. She is also one-half of the crossover violin duo, Les Deux, and has been hailed as “unarguably gifted with a keen ear for arranging” by the New York Examiner. In 2015 the duo dazzled Citi Field with their original arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner at a New York Mets home game.
Beyond the concert stage, Chelsea can be seen in such television series as Glee and, perhaps most recognizably, as the featured violinist in the long-running NYU Langone national television commercial set in New York’s Grand Central Station. Other appearances include WMNR Fine Arts Radio and Connecticut Public Radio, and The String Fingers Band’s debut bluegrass album Don’t Forget.
Chelsea completed her studies at The Juilliard School in 2016, receiving a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of David Chan and Laurie Smukler, and graduating with the Norman Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant for “talent, promise, creativity, and potential to make a significant impact in the performing arts.” She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard where she studied with Sally Thomas. A third-generation teacher, Chelsea is on faculty at Temple Emanu-El’s Nursery School, is a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic’s “Philharmonic Schools” program, and has taught in the NYC Public Schools as a Morse Teaching Fellow. You can listen to Chelsea’s debut album, Les Deux, featuring original arrangements, available on iTunes and Spotify.
Corigliano's Violin Sonata
Adam Rothenberg and Chelsea Starbuck Smith perform a wide variety of works from the American violin and piano repertoire, including John Corigliano's Violin Sonata (1963). Recorded by the duo in January 2017, this incomparable sonata challenges the virtuosity of both instruments while taking the listener on a cinematic-like journey.
Les Deux (2016)
Known for their dazzling original arrangements, creative and interactive performing style, and on-stage charisma, the virtuosic violin duo Les Deux offers riveting performances for today’s edgy concert scene. Hailed by the New York Examiner as "unarguably gifted with a keen ear for arranging", founding members Clare Elena Semes and Chelsea Starbuck Smith present to audiences a diverse repertoire from Bach to Chopin, Bernstein to the Beatles. Their debut album, Les Deux, comprised of all original arrangements, was self-released in 2016.
Out now on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and more!